One Resolution at a Time
Wow, where did 2019 go? For that matter, where did the last decade go? …and now January has evaporated too. With most people now back from holiday and settling into ‘regular’ life, I actually think that February is a better time take stock, and set your goals and intentions for the year ahead.
I don’t know about you, but 2019 was a huge year for me, and definitely a great way to end the decade. However like most years, it also had its ups and downs. Having moved over to New Zealand five years ago from the UK, it can be tough being so far from family and friends. One of my significant low points in 2019 was losing two family members back home in the UK, which isn’t nice under any circumstances, let alone whilst being so far from home. Fortunately, I have a good group of colleagues to help. They provide support, and fill that gap to become my New Zealand family.
On the positive side, 2019 was also exciting. I started a new job, had twins and brought a house. So, that’s three, big life changing events, that I had to learn and adapt to.
Throughout 2019, I knew physically, I was trying to do too much. I could feel myself burning out towards the end of the year, which is when I came to realise it was time to take a step back, breathe and in a way—start again. I personally felt I may have challenged myself too much, and didn’t know where to stop.
This is why I think it’s important to avoid being your own worst enemy and setting yourself up to fail. When it comes to life goals and big moments, sometimes less is more.
Concentrating on one resolution
I believe most people screw up by making one fatal mistake—picking too many resolutions. Instead, why not concentrate and stay focused on one big goal, and throw all your energy behind it. Once you’ve got the larger goal in mind, then you can break this goal down into more manageable chunks. This helps to make it look a little less scary, and means it is easier to take action on a regular basis.
Then, of course it’s important to keep on track. Whether it’s every day, weekly, fortnightly or monthly, you should definitely set aside time on a regular, scheduled basis to review your progress, and to see if you’re on track to achieving your goal. For example, personally I set aside Wednesday evenings for my ‘life admin’ including checking off my goal progress. I set myself a reminder on my phone, and then at 8pm, I take a moment to consider what I need to do that week to move a little bit closer to my goal. I work out any direct actions I need to take, and plan a time when I will do them throughout the week.
Planning and keeping organised inside and outside of work will make a huge difference in your life. Being able to prepare yourself for the week ahead and have a plan in place, to not have everything all over the place, to prevent it all being urgent and last-minute rush, gives you space to fit more of what you love, into your life.
Making the most of the life we have
A traditional working week in New Zealand is 40 hours per week, which is eight hours a day. Imagine you worked this average week, and also had the recommended eight hours sleep each night. Overall, that’s 16 hours of your 24 hour day gone. What are you doing with your free eight hours each day? It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?
Even if you add travel to and from work, which let’s say could total two hours, there’s still six hours of your day that you have to yourself. Then subtract up to an hour working out and showering, an hour making food and eating it, which leaves four hours remaining. Maybe you have kids to look after, get ready for bed and bath time. You might have a date that you’ve been stressing about all week. Or maybe you just can’t wait to get home grab a beer or wine, and sit on the sofa and relax. Maybe you then spend an hour watching a series on Netflix and 30 minutes scrolling through social media …what else is there left to do?
Instead of letting time pass by in a blur of regular responsibilities, try getting more intentional with how you use those precious hours of free time. Why not go for a walk, and call that family member you’ve been meaning to connect with for weeks? Maybe finally organise a catch up with the friend you keep saying ‘yeah we should meet up’ or ‘yeah we should definitely see each other more often’. Take action, and get your time together booked in for one day, and enjoy those moments.
I think it’s worth looking back on 2019, and working out what was it that made you happy? Identify those times when you were enjoying yourself the most. Maybe you should do more of that in 2020.
Of course, we all have our day-to-day living life requirements. But we also all have dreams, goals and hopes, activities that breathe life into who you are. Embrace these life-giving opportunities, and do one thing every day you love.
Does the ‘New Year, New Me’ include a new job?
I think anyone who’s human has experienced that feeling on a Sunday night after a holiday, thinking “urgh, back to work tomorrow, where has the time gone… I wish I had another week off”. While it’s normal to feel like this sometimes, if it’s EVERY morning that you struggle to get up for work, find yourself procrastinating, endlessly planning your next holiday or counting the days till the next long weekend, it might be a sign that you need a change
What of, instead of dreading going to work, you find out what you like doing best, and then find someone to pay you for doing it? Perhaps it’s time to challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone, and take the leap you have been thinking about for a while now.
“When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.”
Why not see what else is out there in the big world? You might be surprised. If job hunting is something you would like some help with, you are welcome to get in touch via email at Nathan.Ellitts@Madison.co.nz